ALMOST 50 homes in West Oxfordshire that have been empty for at least two years will be hit with a council tax rise.

West Oxfordshire District Council's cabinet recommended that the Long Term Empty Property Premium, currently at 50 per cent, be increased to 100 per cent from April 1.

The council revealed 46 properties have been empty and unfurnished for two years or more and hope the initiative will help meet demand for housing in the district.

Read again: Hundreds of homes lying empty despite housing crisis

From April 1, 2020, homes empty for at least five years will pay a 200 per cent levy, while those empty for at least 10 years will pay a 300 per cent premium from 2021.

Armed forces members, houses genuinely for sale or let and annexes will be exempt.